We are getting close to the last courgettes for the season and what a way to celebrate this humble vegetable … delicious!
Wine Suggestion: We drank an Aligote from Jean Fournier in Burgundy. Aligote is completely underrated and we don’t see it often, but this example shows why we should: fresh, rich and full of fruit but with a core of crisp acidity and earthiness that makes it sing alongside the eggy cream, add layers to the pancetta and parmesan and make the courgettes even more silky.
Courgette Carbonara – serves 6 generously
- 6 medium green & yellow courgettes
- 500g penne pasta
- 4 large egg yolks
- 100ml double cream
- 2 big handfuls of freshly grated Parmesan cheese
- olive oil
- 12 thick slices of pancetta or smoked streaky bacon, cut into chunky lardons
- small bunch of fresh thyme, leaves picked and chopped
Bring a large pan of water to the boil.
Halve and quarter the courgettes lengthways. Discard any fluffy bits from the middle and slice at an angle into similar sized shapes to the penne. If you have small courgettes you can just slice them finely.
Cook the penne according to the pack instructions.
While the pasta is cooking, put the egg yolks into a bowl and add the cream and half the Parmesan. Mix with a fork. Season lightly and set aside.
Heat a very large frying pan, add a splash of olive oil and fry the pancetta/bacon until dark brown & crispy. Add the courgette slices and a very generous grind of black pepper. Add the thyme leaves, and stir to make sure the courgettes are well coated with the bacony oil, then fry until turning lightly golden and starting to soften.
Drain the pasta and reserve the cooking water. Immediately toss the pasta into the courgette pan, then take off the heat and add a ladleful of the reserved pasta water and your creamy sauce. Stir together quickly but don’t put back on the heat.
Add the rest of the Parmesan, and a bit more cooking water if needed, to give you a silky sauce. Taste for seasoning and serve immediately.
(Original recipe from Jamie at Home by Jamie Oliver, Penguin, 2007.)